Chinese and Irish Workers in the Construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, a panel sponsored by Irish American Crossroads

This forum was perhaps the first event to ever bring together the Irish and Chinese communities to discuss the role of both groups in the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, which was followed by anti-Chinese agitation, leading to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

An overflow crowd of over 140 listened to presentations by Barry McCarron, assistant professor of Irish Studies at NYU, and Gordon Chang, professor of history and co-director of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford.

Introductions were given by Hillary Flynn of Irish Crossroads and Lotus Fong, Chinese American community activist. There was difficult history to encounter, but the basis was set for further joint actions. Professor McCarron is launching a project on Irish railroad workers that will do much to help the CRRWP.

The event took place on March 25, 2017 at the United Irish Community Cultural Center in San Francisco.

Photo of participants and speakers at the event

From left, Hilton Obenzinger, Prof. Barry McCarron, Lotus Fong, Hillary Flynn, Prof. Gordon Chang